A brain injury changes everything and everyone. Isabella and I are both completely different people than before. Isabella’s carefree, social, happy-go-lucky, outgoing personality has dramatically changed. However, on this journey, I have been blessed with glimpses of “my Isabella” the person she was before her Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). In these glimpses there is no brain injury – there is just Mommy and Isabella having an amazing moment. I never know when or if another glimpse will happen, it could be in a few days, a few months or even longer. I have learned to cherish these moments. These are my reminder that Isabella is still in there and she is fighting like crazy to get out.
It is so easy to tell others to slow down and enjoy the moments, however, in my opinion you only grasp that concept if you have looked at the reality of losing it all. Isabella is my life and my world. I almost lost it all. Each day that I wake up, I am blessed that I can get another day with her.
As Isabella gets ready to turn nine on February 23rd, I think back on how our life has changed so much in the course of the last nine years. When your child is born you plan to enjoy and cherish every moment. As time goes on, life steps in and the small things in life are often lost. Then something tragic happens and it makes you stop and rethink everything. As I sat in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) four years ago watching Isabella dying before my eyes, I made a promise. I promised that I would never take the small moments for granted it again. I vowed that I would learn to truly live in the moment.
I encourage you to do the same. Listen to the crickets, jump in puddles, laugh and be silly, watch the sunset, smell the flowers, catch snowflakes- enjoy the moments with your child. You can’t ever get them back. In an instant it can all change and never be the same.
“Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things” Anonymous
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 8-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
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